Cal State LA receives diversity award for the fourth time


Fatima Rosales

In fall of 2022, 60% of the Cal State LA student body was eligible for a Pell Grant.

Cal State LA received INSIGHT Into Diversity 2022’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. Cal State LA is one out of 102 colleges to receive the award in the United States. 

Although the award was given to many colleges, Cal State LA is part of the six California schools to get it. This will be Cal State LA’s third time getting the award. 

The award, given by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, is “the nation’s oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education,” according to their website.  

The HEED award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. The application is open to all colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, and measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

According to the INSIGHT Into Diversity website, applications are comprehensive, covering all aspects of campus diversity and inclusion. Some of the questions include stating the number of full-time enrollment for undergraduate students, the percentage of full-time students enrolled, categorized by gender identity, and another relating to race/ethnicity. 

Another question asks what percentage of the school’s student body identifies in the following groups: 

  • LGBTQ+
  • Veterans
  • Having a disability
  • Pell Grant eligible
  • First-generation
  • Transgender

The exact question above is asked for the institution’s employees. A sample of the application can be found here.

When biology major Stephen Watson was thinking about Cal State LA’s diversity, he couldn’t help but compare it to other schools he has visited like, USC and UC Riverside. 

“I do not think Cal State LA deserves a diversity award because, while I do think it’s diverse and supports its students, I don’t believe it’s as diverse as the other schools I’ve been to,” Watson said. 

An analysis of data obtained by the UT shows Cal State LA has more students of color than the two universities mentioned. 

According to UC Riverside’s institutional research, it currently has 36.1% Latinx, 32.8% Asian, and 3% African American students enrolled as of fall 2022. As for USC’s institutional research, as of fall 2021, it has 18.26% Latinx, 25.35% Asian, and 6.23% African American students who are degree-seeking. 

Cal State LA has 72.2% Latinx, 10.3% Asian, and 4.1% African American students enrolled as of fall 2022. Cal State LA’s Latinx enrollment rate is about double of UC Riverside’s and almost quadruple of USC’s.

Psychology major Paul Mamac said that diversity at Cal State LA is good for most of the students except for Filipino students.

“Although I think that the university has done a great job in terms of diversity, there are groups that are disproportionately underrepresented like the Filipino/a students, for instance,” Mamac said.

He said that this is an issue of not having a lot of Filipino students to begin with, and in consequence, “most Filipino/a students tend to dissociate themselves from other Filipino/a students.” 

“I think having more representation will alleviate this sense of group identity crisis within the group [of Filipino students],” Mamac said. 

According to the United States Census Bureau, there are 429,418 Filipino people in L.A. County as of 2021. As of fall 2022, 0.1% of Pacific Islander students are enrolled

The Communications and Public Affairs office did not have time to comment on this at the time of printing. An updated version will be online if it provides the University Times (UT) with a statement regarding this claim. 

As for diversity at Cal State LA, the Communications and Public Affairs office provided some data to the UT, some of which were also answers to questions in the application for the award. 

As of fall 2022, there are 57.3% of females, 42.3% of males, and .04% of non-binary students enrolled. 

Most of the students enrolled (72.2%) are Latinx, and the least amount of students enrolled (0.1%) are Pacific Islanders and American Indians. 

In order to get a HEED award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, after colleges submit an application, it goes through a representative of Potomac Publishing, Inc., the publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, “to review and evaluate.”

Cal State LA was also recognized for the Health Professions HEED Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity, “for its success in fostering diversity and inclusion in the Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing. The Health Professions HEED Award recognizes U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary and allied health schools that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion,” according to an email sent from the Communications and Public Affairs office.